Monday, April 28, 2014

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost Review

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #2)
Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #2)
By Iain Reading
Published September 10th, 2013

4 stars - Fantastic Sequel!!

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review*

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost is the exciting second installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This second book in the series continues the adventures of Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot who has decided to follow in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart and make an epic flight around the entire world. After flying across North America Kitty's journey takes her down south to Florida where she plans to get a bit of rest and relaxation before continuing on with the rest of her long and grueling flight. As Kitty explores the strange and magical water world of the Florida Keys her knack for getting herself into precarious situations sweeps her headlong into the adventure of a lifetime involving mysterious lights, ancient shipwrecks, razor-toothed barracudas and even a sighting of the great Ernest Hemingway himself. This exhilarating story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept across the landscape and history of the Florida Keys all the way from Key West to the strange and remarkable world of Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas.

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn about and experience as much of our amazing world as they can - just like Kitty Hawk herself.
First of all I'd like to say that I really love the covers of these books! They look so intriguing and draw you to the book. Plus this would be a great time to judge a book by it's cover, lol :). Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost doesn't disappoint and brings you into a new world. I loved the first book in the series and this one was just as good! 
Kitty has decided to take an adventure and fly around the world. This in itself is very exciting! The first stop for Kitty was Florida and was the state that this book took place in. Kitty has once again found some interesting mysteries that she plans to figure out. We have two mysteries throughout the book, one small one and one big one. I'm happy to say that, yet again, both mysteries are solved and pretty interesting. We meet new characters and are able to learn more historical information. There is some information about Hemingway and some valuable Spanish treasure but I won't say too much because all the fun is in reading it for yourself. 
Once again I found myself enjoying learning new information while being entertained at the same time! It's very difficult for me to not fall asleep while reading about historical topics but Reading has figured out a way to combine fiction with history and make it worthwhile! Bravo! :) So, yes, I recommend you read this sequel if you've already read the first book because you won't want to put it down. Some parts dragged a little but before I knew it the story was picking up again. The ending is pretty exciting and gets you ready for the next step in Kitty's adventure. Great for fans of history, adventure, fiction or an interesting story! Check it out today!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday #7

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves. This is hosted by Pen to Paper ! 

Hey Everybody! It's been awhile since I've posted a wishlist Wednesday but I have some time now. Last year I read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and it was amazing! If you haven't read it then you most definitely should! Anyways, after I read that awesome book I wanted to read the second book so bad. I love the way The Raven Boys was written and I LOVE the characters. :) So the book on my Wishlist today is The Dream Thieves. I'm really wanting to read it...

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)
By Maggie Stiefvater
Published September 17th, 2013
439 pages

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. 

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. 

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

Ugh I really want to read it!! So what's on your Wishlist today?


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Excerpt of The Mystery of Moutai by G.X. Chen

Hello Everyone! Today I have an excerpt of The Mystery of Moutai, a mystery novel, by G.X. Chen. Sounds like an interesting read so you should definitely check it out! 

The Mystery of Moutai
By G.X. Chen 
Published April 14th, 2014

A teenager returns home from school to find a gruesome scene: the apartment he shares with his mother, Shao Mei, in Boston’s Chinatown has been ransacked and she is dead. There is a bottle of Moutai—the most exotic and expensive Chinese liquor—left at the scene and traces of rat poison in one of the two shot glasses on the kitchen counter. This was evidently a homicide, but who could possibly be the killer?

Ann Lee and Fang Chen, close friends of the victim, team up with the Boston police to solve this mystifying crime: why would anyone want to murder a harmless middle-aged woman, one who worked as an unassuming mailroom clerk, with no money, no connections, and presumably, no enemies?

Realizing that important clues behind the motive may be buried deep in the victim’s past, they travel to Beijing, where Shao Mei spent more than fifty years of her life. While there, surrounded by the antiquities of China’s rich and complex history, they stumble unwittingly into a cobweb of mystery and danger. Fearing for their lives but determined to press on, they end up unearthing a scandal more deceptive and far-reaching than either could have imagined.

Disclosure: The three main characters and the victim also appeared in The Mystery of Revenge by G.X. Chen.



In the spring of 1994, John Chan, an athletic teenager, vaulted up the stairs of an old apartment building on the edge of Chinatown in the city of Boston, taking two steps at a time while carrying a hockey stick and a duffel bag full of shoulder pads, helmets, gloves, and skates. He was tired but very excited because he had just played an important hockey game at his schoolthe winner would go on to the division finalsand he could hardly wait to tell his mother that he had a winning goal in the second period and was congratulated by all of his teammates and his coach. John was starving. Looking forward to a hug; a hot shower; and a hearty, homemade meal, he was rushing toward his apartment, which was located on the third floor of the five-story brick building.
After the door swung open by a touch of the end of his hockey stick, John stopped in alarm. Even if she was expecting a guest, his mother always locked the apartment doorshe was afraid of burglars ever since their next-door neighbor had a break-in several months ago. John dropped the duffel bag, placed the hockey stick against the wall and peeked inside the apartment apprehensively. It was late in the afternoon, but the west-facing apartment was still well lit by the sun, which was sinking slowly on the horizon.
His jaw dropped when he saw what had become of his home, which was always neat and clean no matter how hectic the occupants’ lives were. The living room was in total disarray, the floor covered with bits and pieces of books and magazines, and all the drawers and cabinet doors in the kitchen were pulled open—his home had been turned upside down, ransacked.
His voice echoed as he called out, “Mom, I’m home! Where are you?”
No response; the apartment was eerily quiet. Hesitantly, John opened the door wider and entered, trying not to step on the fallen books because he knew his mother, Shao Mei, loved them. A former physics professor at Beijing University, Shao Mei kept all the books she had brought with her from China, even though most of them were getting flimsy and falling apart.
Among all the messes, a shiny object drew John’s attention almost immediately. Sitting on the coffee table in the living room was a slick and colorful porcelain bottle of Moutai, the most famous liquor in China. His mother had been working as a mailroom clerk for an insurance company in Boston and could never have afforded an authentic bottle of Moutai, which would have fetched more than a hundred dollars on the black market in her native country.
He walked over and stood in front of the battered coffee table, looking down at the exquisitely designed liquor bottle, which seemed empty. Then, he noticed something bulky stuck between the sofa and the coffee table. It was his mother, face-down on the floor. On her partially hidden, painfully distorted face, blood trickled from her nose and her mouth. His legs started trembling violently. John screamed, but no sound came from his mouth. It was seemingly a long time before he was able to control his limbs. He ran to the kitchen, picked up the phone, and dialed 911.
The rest of the day was a blur. Police officers and detectives came and went, along with a team of forensic specialists and an ambulance. Everything in the apartment and around the body was checked, including a fancy gift box in the trash can, two shot glasses on the kitchen counter, and the empty bottle of Moutai. The forensic officers used protective gloves, putting all the items, one at a time, carefully into separate evidence bags.
After the body was taken away, a tall and sturdy man in his early fifties came into the bedroom where John was sitting and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Paul Winder-man,” he said in a soft voice, “detective sergeant from the Boston Police Department. And your name please?”
“John Chan,” John murmured without looking up at the police officer.
“John,” Paul said, kneeling down to face the kid at the same level. “Do you have any relatives in town?”
“No,” John said and shook his head, looking into Paul’s deep and pale blue eyes in despair. What’ll happen to me now? He thought in panic. Where will I go? His mother was the only family he had in the US. He dropped his head and started weeping.
Paul kept his large hand on John’s shoulder. What a pity. The poor lad might have to be sent to social services, he thought sympathetically. “Do you know anyone in the cityyour mother’s friends, for example?” he asked hopefully.
John lifted his head and nodded. “My mom was friendly with Auntie Ann Lee and Uncle Fang Chen,” he told the detective between sobs. According to Chinese tradition, he addressed all of his parents’ friends as “uncles” and “aunties” even though they weren’t blood relations. As far as John knew, Auntie Lee and Uncle Chen visited his mother often when she was alivesometimes they’d take him along to have dim sum in Chinatown, an area he and his mother lived on the edge of, where the rent was cheaper than most places in downtown Boston.
Paul Winderman’s eyes lit up when he heard the names. He had dealt with both of them in a previous murder case a few years ago. He liked Ann a lot, a very capable young woman and a straight arrow, but he didn’t trust Fang Chen because the professor had played hocus-pocus with the police rather than cooperating the last time they met.
Paul processed the facts in his head for less than a minute before placing a few calls. Due to the fact that Ann didn’t own a car, he dispatched a police cruiser to pick her up. Half an hour later, a sober and red-eyed Ann Lee showed up at Shao Mei’s apartment to take John away.
“I’ll pack up everything you need and deliver to you as soon as I can,” Paul told the kid, who had rested his head on Auntie Lee’s shoulder and was crying.
Lifting his head, the kid said nothing but nodded with tears in his eyes. With Ann’s help, he stuffed a few sets of clothes into his duffel bag, picked up his backpack and the hockey stick, and left his home in the US for the last time.
Friday, April 24
Another warm night; the breeze coming from the open windows makes me feel it’s an early summer rather than spring day.
It has been a thrill to know that I will soon meet my old friend who suffered much at the hands of the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to renew our friendship. I don’t have many old friends anymore, having lost all the contacts when I moved. I particularly crave the comrade-ship we forged during the formidable years when we were both young.
It’s fascinating for me to think what this friend of mine will say or what her reaction will be when I show up at her door. I probably should call her first or send her an e-mail, but I’m not sure if she has an e-mail account, or even a computerstill a luxury item for most people. I heard she has fallen on hard times since she left China. The poor thing!
I’m sure I can cheer her up with my visit and my unique gift. It’s only fitting that I should bring her the best.

About the Author:

G.X. Chen is a freelancer who lives in Boston ( both of her mystery novels are based in Boston); permanently moved from China to the US after Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Previously published books include The Mystery of Revenge (a mystery novel) and Forget Me Not: A Love Story of the East (a historic fiction/romance) and several other novels in Chinese. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Retarded Girl Raised In Dog Pen Review

Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen 
By Lauren Leigh
Published March 15th, 2014 by Sartoris Literary Group 

5 stars - An Intriguing Novel!

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review*

Baby is every adoptive parent’s nightmare—blind, paralyzed from the waist down, unable to speak, and diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities. For the first 10 years of her life she is raised outside in a dog pen by a cruel adoptive father, a Mississippi deputy sheriff who values his bird dogs more than his daughter.

Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen is the story of Baby’s placement in a Mississippi mental institution for individuals with profound retardation after the brutal murder of her father and the arrest of her mother, and her desperate attempt to escape the institution.

Once the mother is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, the story takes a bizarre twist as mental health professions discover that Baby is capable of communication, despite being trapped inside a grotesque body that holds her prisoner.

How much does Baby know? Can she prove her mother’s innocence?

As the mother sits on death row, the clock ticking, a brilliant psychologist has the shock of her life when she discovers that Baby is not who she seems. The question is will the psychologist be able to solve the mystery in time to save the mother’s life?

Similar to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in the manner in which it reveals the inner workings of a mental institution, it is, in the end, about the triumph of intellect and passion over indifference and cruelty. It is written in the tradition of The Sound and the Fury and To Kill a Mockingbird, two novels that address the complex issue of intellectual disabilities.


Wow. I have no idea how to even start this review. I know the title will be kind of hard to deal with for some people but I strongly encourage you to look past it. It's kind of like not judging a book by it's cover. The story itself is phenomenal and completely intriguing. I was hooked from the very beginning and the story held my attention the whole time. 

The summary says similar to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and I have to agree. I just recently read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and this book shows the inner workings of the facility in a similar manner. It was interesting to be able to read about what was going on with the staff in the facility Baby was at. We don't just get Baby's perspective but we also read the thoughts of some of the nurses and patients. I thought it was very intriguing to learn a few of the characters' stories. Speaking of perspectives, being in Baby's mind was thought provoking. I was reminded of how blessed I am and of how grateful I should be that I can see and speak and move my legs. Baby was a beautiful character and she was an incredibly strong girl. She was born without eyes and vocal chords and doesn't have the use of her legs. She had so many misfortunes but she still kept going. Her mother was a great character as well and took care of Baby in the only way she knew how. You could tell just how much she loved her daughter. She let Baby stay in the dog pen but she also had an abusive husband who was also a Sheriff. The characters were flawed but they were real. 

Once again, this story is compelling and gripping! You will not be bored because there is always something happening in the book. There is the mystery of who killed Baby's father and that definitely keeps you reading. At first I was surprised at who the killer was but after awhile I realized that it made perfect sense. I didn't see the clues till the book was over but I liked that about this book. Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen is a book that you don't want to miss. Look past the title and give this one a chance because it is incredibly thought provoking. I wasn't disappointed and I hope you aren't either! Check out an excerpt below!



When Thad Vanderbilt arrived at the county jail, he was eating a hamburger that he’d picked up at the drive-through window of a fast-food restaurant. He took bites of the burger and sips from a cup filled with iced tea as he walked into the building and asked to meet with Rivers in a private conference room.
As she walked in the door, he was in the process of wadding up the paper wrapping around the burger. He tossed it into a nearby trash can and then took a sip from the cup, gurgling the last few drops from the bottom of the cup before discarding it. Left behind was a touch of mayo that stuck about an inch from the corner of his mouth. Rivers noticed it, but said nothing, not really caring whether her lawyer looked foolish or not.
Thad stood and extended his hand as she approached the table and sat in a folding chair. His fingers felt damp from the soft drink cup, and she wiped her hand against her jumpsuit.
“I’m Thad Vanderbilt,” he said. “I’ve seen you around town, but I don’t think we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.”
“I’ve seen you in your convertible.”
Thad laughed. “Yes, and it will be paid for in another three years, just in time to trade it in for a new one.”
Rivers didn’t think that was funny and she did not respond with a laugh of her own.
Thad looked at a legal pad, reading over his scribbled notes.
“I see your husband was a deputy.”
Rivers nodded.
“And you have a little girl named Baby. Is that correct?”
“Yes. Have you seen her?”
“No, I haven’t. I understand she was taken away and placed at Silverstone Retardation Center.”
“That’s what the sheriff told me.”
“She’ll be well taken care of there.”
“I hope so. She’s not used to strangers.”
“They are used to people like her.”
“What do you mean, people like her?”
“You know, retarded.”
“How do you want to plead on this?”
“What do you mean?”
“Guilty or not guilty.”
Rivers didn’t answer, sort of drifted away, lost in thought.
“Did you hear me?”
“Guilty or not guilty?”
“What’s the difference?”
“If you plead guilty, there is no trial and the judge decides your sentence. If you plead not guilty, you go to trial and listen to people say a lot of bad things about you, and then the jury decides if you are guilty or not guilty, and then, if you are guilty, they pass sentence.”
“And if the jury decides I am not guilty?”
“Then they send you home.”
“In that case, who goes to prison?”
“The prosecutor will decide if there is someone else he wants to prosecute. If there is, then he will go after them and try to get a conviction.
“So what do you want to do?”
“Did the sheriff give you any information about Angus?”
“I don’t understand.”
“Did the sheriff give you any details about what happened to him?”
“Would you mind telling me what you know?”
“No problem.” He looked over his notes. “OK. They found his body yesterday, buried along the tree line of your property, about fifty yards from the dog pen.”
“Did he look upset?”
“Excuse me?”
“Did it look like he was upset over being dead?”
Thad paused again, this time to collect his thoughts. “Ma’am, when you’re dead I don’t think you necessarily look upset or not upset.”
“I see.” She lowered her eyes, looking down at her lap, where her fingers were intertwined in a knot. “Does it say anything about how he died?”
“Yes, ma’am, it says he was struck in the chest with an ax.”
“That all?”
“No, it says he was hacked on a little bit.”
“Do they have the ax?”
“Apparently, it was buried with him.”
Rivers sat quietly for a while. Then she put her hand on her chest, feeling her thumping heart. “Would you mind seeing after the burial?”
“That’s not really what I do.”
“Baby and I are the only family he’s got. If not you, then who?”
“Ma’am, you’ve put me on the spot.”
“I know that.”
Thad doodled on his legal pad as he struggled with her request. He had moved to Murphy County from Memphis, where lawyers played by a different set of rules. In Memphis, her request would have been laughed at, but not in a rural community where everyone knows everyone else, or if they don’t, they know of them or have heard stories about them.
“That’s not something I usually do,” he said. “But I’ll make an exception in your case.”
“Thank you.”
“But you still haven’t answered me.”
“About what?”
“About your plea.”
“Can I decide what goes on the tombstone?”
“I don’t know for sure, but assume that would not be a problem. You are his wife.”
“Will there be flowers?”
“Yes—if I have to send them myself.”
“That’s nice.”
 “I don’t mean to be rude, ma’am, but I need to know your plea.”
Rivers looked up, as if searching for the answer on the ceiling. Inexplicably, a serene look appeared on her face. “What will happen to me if I plead guilty?”
“It is a capital offense to kill a police officer, so the penalty would be death by injection.”
“I see.”
“Is that what you would like to do?”
“Yes, I believe it is.”

Book Link:

About the Author:

Lauren Leigh is a mental health professional who has devoted her life to working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. This is her first novel.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Getting By Excerpt!

 Today I have an excerpt of Getting By!   This is the first book in the 4 book series.  The second book will be released later this year. Sounds very interesting so check out the excerpt and then check out the book!

Getting By (A Knight's Tale #1)
By Claudia Y. Burgoa
Published February 18th, 2014


When Emma Anderson arrived at San Francisco International Airport, she regretted accepting the distinction of being the maid of honor to Gaby’s—her childhood friend—wedding. It had been years since the last time she set foot in Menlo Park, where her parents had been killed. The rug where she had been shoving her feelings since that day looked bumpier than a camel’s hump. Who could blame her; if she hadn’t been selfish they’d still be around. Ever since that fateful day, Emma has been perfecting the knack of Getting By.

Cade’s wedding in Menlo Park—a city close to San Francisco—might be the perfect place for Jake Knight to shake the memories of his ex, Emma Anderson for good. Single, available women galore for an entire week was the perfect medication, one he intended to take three times a day for an entire week to return to his player days. It was a plan the former spy thought flawless until he came face to face with the maid of honor. Jake’s perfect retreat turns into a flight, fight or hide week of celebrations.

Book Links:


“You sure about being here?” She nodded, answering my question. Then I slipped one of the migraine pills in her hand and opened a bottle of water. I noticed that Mom and Dad had walked over to Gaby, who waited for them on the corner of the street. After gulping her medicine and water, she handed the bottle over to me. “Text me if you need me to pick you up earlier, Pretty Girl.” She nodded again and I kissed her temples. “Liam, can you walk her to the shop, please?”
Mitch couldn’t hold his tongue any longer, and spoke up, saying, “What was that about?” I glared at him. “Mom being too quiet is scary, right? You want to throw her at her own game? Am I next to be extremely nice with Emma, as if she was my girl?” I grinned, he got me. “Pointers for it to work. Try to change your concerned look, stop drooling and perhaps Mom might believe you.” I narrowed my eyes. “Yeah, it was that obvious since we hit the hotel restaurant at eight this morning, Jay. You were too couple-like. Let’s run you through the breakfast highlights.
“You spotted the girl and ran to her whispering in her ear, giving her a stupid smile I’ve never seen you wear before.” I smirked, remembering the fork, and snorted. Ignoring me, he continued, “At breakfast you two were sitting too close for comfort. Not even Mom and Dad were that close. The best part wasn’t the medicine errand you ran for her. No.” No? I put a hand on the back of my neck and continued listening to the play by play that made me look like a moron in love. “The freaky part, where everyone dropped their jaw at the table, was when Emma reached toward your plate and grabbed strips of your bacon.” I shrugged, what was wrong with it? “Not once, but several times. No one is allowed to touch your food, Jake. Ever since we were little, you hated it. Yet, Emma touched your food, and while she was doing it, you were a millimeter from kissing her. You two are too comfortable with each other, and the daunting part, Jake, is that the two of you fit so well that you don’t realize how wrong everything looked for the ones that don’t know about your relationship.”
“Or for the ones that know you two broke up,” Liam added. I didn’t notice when he came back. “The parental units are suspicious, Jake. Come clean and put some space between you and Emma before Mom chooses the wedding location and makes Dad buy the two of you a house next door to theirs.”
“Did you have to deal with the TMI all the time, Li?” Mitch shivered after Liam nodded with a blank stare. “I never checked to see if the girl I slept with used the pill or not. Add to that the hot factor that she carries condoms in her magic bag.”
“It’s different when you’re with a girl for more than one n—” I rubbed the back of my neck. “Can we not talk about my girl?” I gulped after uttering the last two words and began to think about some form of rehabilitation to move on.

About the Author:

Claudia lives in Colorado with her family and three dogs. While managing life, she works as a CFO at a small IT Company. She’s a dreamer who enjoys music, laughter and a good story. Claudia writes romance, sci-fi, and fantasy. She has published two novels: Where Life Takes You and Getting By. Claudia is currently working on Standing By, the second book in the Knight series. For 2014, Claudia plans to released three, perhaps four novels. 





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Honor and Innocence by Glen Hierlmeier Excerpt!!

I have an excerpt today of Honor and Innocence: Against the Tides of War by Glen Hierlmeier. Seems like an interesting novel and if your fans of historic romance, then you'll want to check this out! See below for information about the book and author.

Honor and Innocence: Against the Tides of War
By Glen Hierlmeier 
Published March 2014

Honor and Innocence: Against the Tides of War, a historical romance novel by Glen Hierlmeier, was released March 2014. This book takes the reader through the devastation left by World War II across the European and Asian continents following its main character Hank Fischer, who was drafted to the American Army in 1945 shortly after his high school graduation.

During his service, Hank befriends a German prisoner-of-war, Max, who tells Hank of his twin sister, Roberta, also in captivity. An unlikely romance buds between her and Hank, leaving Hank conflicted between his allegiance to the American Army and his love for Roberta. Hank decides to break out Max and Roberta, and together they make a desperate flight through war-torn Germany where they witness first-hand the destruction post-war Europe has endured. Leaving Max behind in Switzerland, they make their way to the port city of Trieste, where they board a ship and depart to the seas, dealing with pirates, facing adversity, making new friends, and desperately seeking a safe refuge in a place where their love can flourish.

Follow Hank and Roberta on their intense and captivating journey from country to country as they seek refuge. Read as they make their way through bombed-out cities, giving a rare glimpse into the tragic consequences of war, as they remain together bound by love.

About the Author:

Glen graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, then earned a Masters of Business Administration at The University of Wisconsin at Madison. He served in the US Air Force on the Manned Orbiting Laboratory space exploration program and on the design phase of the development of the F-15 fighter aircraft. After leaving the Air Force, Glen returned to Wisconsin and became Vice President of the largest bank in his home state, First Wisconsin National Bank. In 1979, he moved on to become President and CEO of several real estate development and management companies. Glen retired in 2009 to devote full time to his grandchildren and his writing. Glen is the author of Honor and Innocence, We Had to Live: We Had No Choice…, and Thoughts From Yesterday: Moments to Remember.


And now the excerpt!!!

There was little rest for Hank again that night.  His heart and his mind were being pulled in different directions.  He had made commitments to Max and Oliver, then to Captain Stein, and now to Roberta.  He had always been trusted by everyone, a pillar of integrity.  Now, he would surely destroy that reputation.  As he tossed and turned, and scolded himself for getting himself into such a quandary, his thoughts kept going back to Roberta, warm thoughts full of wonder and excitement.  But, as the night progressed, doubts began to creep into his head.
Hank couldn’t deny how he felt; he felt fantastic, incredible.  He had met the girl of his dreams---love at first sight.  He couldn’t wait to see her again.  She was everything he had always imagined she would be, everything he hoped for in a woman.  Yet, he began to wonder, is this real?  Could it be possible for two people to be in love when they’ve only known each other for two days?  Was he being foolish?  Had the events of the past five months and his absence from the comforts of home made him vulnerable in a dangerous way?  A frightful pang of fear shot through his gut as he thought: Is she just using me? Does she see me as her way out of confinement? Am I being fooled by her? Maybe she doesn’t care about me at all; she only needs me to get what she really wants.  Why should I trust her?  I don’t really know her.  Oh, what a fool I must be to fall for the first beautiful woman who shows an interest in me, who caresses me.  Am I that vulnerable?  Am I that foolish?
Thoughts of Roberta dazzled and confused him; nothing in his young life had ever left him so unsure of himself.  No amount of concentration overcame the cascade of emotions flooding his chest.  He tossed and turned long into the night, soaked his pillow through with his sweat, though he wasn’t warm, and felt his pulse exploding his temples; alternating between visions of pure, romantic love and sheer foolishness.  The pull on his heart skidded back and forth like a tug of war.  That is…until he recalled his mother’s words, spoken on his eighteenth birthday, just after a high school sweetheart informed him that another man had won her heart.
Hank, you are such a precious son.  I adore you.  I am sad when you are sad, but you must know this pain you feel will pass.  Sometimes love is fleeting, it may disappear as quickly as it appears.  You have your whole life ahead of you.  I know you will meet the woman who will love you completely, and for your lifetime.  I have no doubt.  Love between a man and a woman cannot be easily defined; love comes in many forms and is never the same for everyone.  Almost always love charges into your life like a cosmic experience, even magical, it is so difficult to predict or understand.  Sometimes that special feeling in your heart really is true love---sometimes not.  When love comes suddenly, we can be swept off our feet.  It’s a dazzling experience that confuses us.  That’s often called love at first sight, but it’s never really love at first sight.  If it happens to you, don’t take it for granted, it’s very special and you won’t want to lose it.  It’s one of the best feelings you will ever have, and I believe the best beginning for true love.
Don’t be deceived, true love has to be built; it takes a lot of hard work and may take a very long time.  When two people stop working on their love, it fades, no matter if it’s the first month, the first year, the tenth or the twenty-fifth.  There will always be difficulties and complications, that’s how life is, not just marriage.  Use those difficulties to work on making your marriage stronger.  Don’t expect not to have challenges, welcome them and be ready to take them on together.  Everything really worthwhile in your life will require hard work.  Your marriage is the one very most worthwhile jewel you will ever have.
Laying silently in the darkness, eyes wide open, thinking warm thoughts of his mother, a smile came across his face.  Of course, he thought, mother is right.  I have to work on it.  Tomorrow I’ll have to find out if Roberta truly feels the same way about me.  Sleep finally came.
He should have been exhausted the next morning, with little sleep and tormented the whole night through with all his mixed emotions, but his adrenalin had taken over.  Hank needed to get things resolved, and though he wasn’t sure how to do that, he needed to attack his demons head on.  By the time he met with Oliver and Max in the evening he wanted to have his life back on track.  Since he was drafted there had not been a dull day in Hank’s life.  He never knew quite what to expect, and that day would be no different.  It would begin with his report to Captain Stein.
Hank was surprised to see the Captain waiting for him.  Stein motioned Hank to his office as soon as Hank appeared in the doorway.  Hank’s curiosity was aroused.
“Hank, we have to release everyone except the SS Officers.  The staff and family are being released as soon as possible.   We’ll have 30 days to hold the officers and unless we can get enough evidence they participated in war crimes we’ll have to release them too!  Something about the Geneva Convention says we can’t hold them unless we have sufficient evidence to take them to trial.  It’s foolish as far as I’m concerned.  What kind of fair trial did the millions of dead Jews get?”
Hank was stunned again.  His first emotion was that he was losing Roberta, but his first thought was that might be best.  He had to set his feelings aside and listen to Stein without revealing his feelings. 
“I’m sorry, sir.  I know how important this is to you.  It really would be a shame if guilty men went free.”
“Ya, well, there’s nothing we can do about it but work our butts off to get the evidence we need to hold the bastards.  That’s our job, and by God, we’re going to make sure every last one of them hangs for what they’ve done.  Did you get anything out of the girl?”
“I thought I was really close…I mean…I think she was beginning to trust me.  I needed more time; maybe a few more days, but I’m not sure she knew anything.”
“Come on, Corporal, of course she knows things.  I’ll bet she knows plenty.  We’re losing a good opportunity by letting them all go.  It makes our job harder.”
“What will we do now?”
“We’ll get busy interrogating the officers.  The British have been at it for weeks.  They have files on all of them.  The Russians are sending men to help too, and we’re getting some young Army lawyers by next week.  Today, you and I are going out there to go through files.  We’ll make a list of the ones that look like they were in charge, in some position of leadership, the higher the better, then we’ll start meeting with them.  I want to get the top guys.”
Hank didn’t know what to think.  His emotions all melted together in a jumble of confusion.  All he could do was follow orders for the moment, until he could sort through all the feelings bombarding him. 
Within a few minutes he and Stein were on their way to the compound, where they came upon a blur of activity.  Those who were being released were jubilant as groups of them gathered in the streets to celebrate.  There was pitched cheering, yet, others pushed against the fence separating them from officers, loved ones and former employers who they would be leaving behind.  There was sadness and tears, as well as questions about what may lay ahead for each of them, the uncertainty for those who were released to communities that may not still exist, and for those who remained in custody, facing the possibility of imprisonment or death.
As Stein and Hank walked into the officer’s compound, Hank did his best to keep Stein from seeing him looking among those being released through the fence.  In spite of his doubts, his heart told him he was in love and he was growing desperate about losing Roberta so soon, thinking she could be gone forever, and wishing he could know for sure if what they had begun was truly love, or whether he was just a fool.  They were moving too quickly for him to see clearly.  He couldn’t find her.  They were up the steps and into the meeting hall, leaving behind any chance he might see her again.  He was numb, unaware of anything going on around him.
“Hank, Hank, come on, get moving.  Pay attention!”  Stein gave him a nudge toward the stairway leading to a room above, where they spent the rest of the morning poring through files, assessing information that had been gathered by the British, looking for clues to help them decide which officers they would interrogate first.  Stacks of files were set aside, awaiting the lawyer’s arrival.  Hank couldn’t focus his attention; all he could think about was that he may be losing the one person who was right for him, the one he would commit his life to.  Convicting German criminals wasn’t important to him at that moment.
By noon Stein was satisfied they had enough files to get started.  They were loaded in the back of the truck and about to leave.
“Captain Stein, I’d like to see if I can find Roberta and make an appeal to her to give us the information you believe she has.  Once she is gone, it will be lost.  I think it’s worth a try.”
“If you think so, Hank.  There can’t be any harm in trying.  In fact, I like your attitude.  Go ahead, get what you can, and jump on another truck heading back later.  I’ll see you in the morning.  Good luck.”
Hank felt relieved that Stein went along with the idea, but he felt a tinge of guilt for taking advantage of Stein’s trust in him. 
Trucks loaded with released detainees were rolling out the gate as Hank walked over to the camp.  He ran alongside each truck calling Roberta’s name but got no response.  Others were still loading near a barracks building to the rear.  He ran into the building asking each person he came to about Roberta until an older woman stopped him.
“Yes.  Roberta was here.  But she has gone.”
Hank’s world came to a sudden stop.  He just stood there as people pushed past him toward the trucks.  He lost her.  She was gone.  Maybe she didn’t love him after all.  Maybe she just didn’t need him anymore.  He really didn’t know what to think.  He only knew this was the worst day of his life.
As he walked back toward the gate past the office where he had met with Roberta, the guard who had brought Roberta to the meetings called out to him.
“Corporal!  Corporal Fischer!  Come quickly.  There is someone who wants to see you.”
Hank wouldn’t allow himself to believe it could be her.  He hurried into the building and found the front office area empty, but the door to the room in back was ajar.  He slowly opened the door and there sat Roberta.  She leaped from her chair and into his arms with a scream of delight.
“Oh, Hank, Hank!  I knew you would come for me.  I knew it in my heart!”
“They told me you had left.  I thought you were gone!”
“I couldn’t go.  Where would I go without you now that I have found you?  I love you, Hank, I love you!  I feel like I have loved you since always, and forever.”
Her arms wrapped tightly around his neck and her lips found his.  Her words washed away any doubt.  He had never known such elation.  He was in love.  It was real.  He was sure of it.
“I love you, Roberta.  I love you, too!”

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